Saturday, August 27, 2011

Star Lights

Solar Star Lights from
Two posts in as many days? What?! :P

I have been trying to find another light source for our living room for awhile now and haven't been having much luck. Right now, we have 4 star paper lanterns up in the corner above the couch (hanging from the ceiling), but the room is pretty good sized and really needs more light than that. We often turn on the light above our stairs (which is on the opposite side from the stars) when we need more light, but that only sort of works.

We also don't have a lot of wall to our living room since the downstairs floor plan is fairly open. Something on the ceiling might be nice, but we have about 6 feet of lower ceiling and then it's a really, really high ceiling for the rest of the room. It would also potentially be costly to do something like recessed lighting, besides the time and effort it would require.

White Organza Star String Lights on Amazon
I'm considering putting some strands/strings of lights up on the one wall to solve this problem, but don't want anything boring or too low so that people would potentially hit their heads ('cause neither of those sound desirable, right?). I came across some star-shaped lights via google. Now, the ones I found are actually solar and for outdoors (obviously :P). Which I now also really want 'cause they would be a fabulous light source for our deck, which is another place I'm looking to glam up.

Continuing my search a bit, I looked on Amazon for some star lights. I found these: White Organza Star String Lights. Now I like those too! Not for outdoors, obviously, but they're cute for indoors, no? But I can't help but think that I could probably make something like those. They are, after all, just organza on frames covering lights. (Just got an idea to, if I attempt this, make some ornaments like those too 'cause that would be pretty neat!). Maybe use something like pipe cleaners, floral stems or toothpicks for the frame...
Ben Light's Star Light Minis

And from that, I went to searching along the lines of "DIY star lights" and came upon This Blog Post (modhomeecteacher at about making star light covers out of manila envelops, which was nabbed from, which posted from's article about making paper stars for Christmas ornaments (okay, I imagine that was a bit exhausting to read, but I wanted to give those blogs credit for leading me to the tutorial!).

Ben Light's photoset on Flickr shows photos of a few stages, as well as a template to make your own. Awesome, right? And I figure any paper would likely work, not just manila envelopes. I have quite a lot of different types of paper due to my origami lucky star addiction, including some white vellum. Not only do I think they could be cool for Christmas time, but if they turn out well, they could solve the problem I have in my living room! And, really, for that matter, possibly work outside on the deck as well. Though I would probably try covering them with Mod Podge Outdoor and have them under the awning if I put them outside...

Template here
I suppose you could also modify this pattern for non-light purposes, too. And I will report back when I try any of the crafty things I've talked about here. Let me know if any of you make any attempts! I'd love to see them!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My first "real" wearable!

I have made my first wearable! (hats, scarves and fingerless gloves don't count :P). I had been wanting to make a baby shrug for awhile now but had been intimidated by the patterns I found. But I wanted to give Kami something handmade for her first birthday (her other gifts being books) and had already made her plenty of hats and an afghan.

LionBrand's Flutter Baby Top
So I made the pattern on LionBrand's site for the Flutter Baby Top (ravelry link). It took me about 5.5-6 hours to finish, but was pretty easy to make. I imagine if I was making it for a smaller baby it would have taken 4.5-5 hours instead, but I made the 12-24 mos size (I hope it fits her! You never really know without measuring).

You work it up in practically one piece, which is really nice. And I will be using that "style" of making shrugs & sweaters as a foundation for others as well! I imagine you can pick any stitch and work it up in the same way and get some fun shrugs.

I've otherwise been working on some granny squares for Share a Square. I didn't make the first deadline, but will probably send the 15 I have out tomorrow anyway since it seems they're short. :(

Friday, August 12, 2011

Share a Square

It's been a busy month! (I feel like I've been saying that in nearly every post... But it really has been a busy YEAR for me for some reason!). I just finished up 11 Hello Kitty amigurumi and 5 Keroppis for Kami's birthday party next week, so that's a load off. Plus, I had photos from a wedding I shot last month to go through and edit - another huge load off my shoulders.

Now, I have a Rammy hat to make, a cupcake hat, and an owl hat. And, naturally, I'm busy with all of this when I discover "Share a Square" (Facebook, Ravelry), this fantastic group of crocheters who make hundreds and hundreds of granny squares and give the afghans made from them to children who have cancer. I really, really want to make some squares and send them, but I haven't got the time right now. :( First deadline is 8/26, which I likely won't make, but there is a second deadline 10/26 that I'm hoping to be able to make. It's really awesome to see all of these people working together to do something special for these kids and who doesn't want to be a part of that?

So anybody who crochets, or knows someone who crochets, check out those links and see about sending some granny squares! Every square counts! And not only is it a nice way to do something for someone else, but a great way to use up that Red Heart Super Saver yarn that you have from when you first started to crochet and have since moved on to softer fibers. ;)
Some fun smiley face granny squares made by crochetdiva on

I actually found the Share a Square group on Ravelry while looking around at fun granny square patterns. That smiley face one by SmoothFox is pretty cute and seems like it would be simple to make. Find her pattern (for free) on Ravelry here (but remember that SaS squares need to be 6x6 and not 7x7!).
Made by Petra Kotrysova

Besides the smiley face, I also really like this Hello Kitty granny square. It's one I imagine a lot of people haven't seen before and would be happy to see in their afghan (or bag or scarf or hat or...).

And, lastly for today, here's one that I would obviously like: SmoothFox's Star Square. It isn't free, but it's only $2.50, which is a fair price, I think. I definitely intend to crank out a few of those to spread the star love, haha. And I have some Red Heart SS from a friend who gave up crocheting that will work perfectly. :)

Now I wonder if I could come up with some granny square patterns... Maybe something nerdy?